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Faithful Biblical Women and Creative Women Class

Faithful Biblical Women and Creative Women Class

Women in Scripture

You can’t read the Bible without seeing that women are important.  Although the society of the Ancient World was patriarchal, which is also reflected in the scriptures, women made a difference and not simply because of their children.

Tamar (Genesis 38), Ruth (Book of Ruth), Rahab (Joshua 2, 6:17-23), Deborah (Judges 4 – 5), and Esther (Book of Esther), ranging from a prostitute to a queen, are all notable and strong examples of faith in the Old Testament.  Tamar fights for her levirate right to a child.  Ruth loyally stays with her friend Naomi despite having to leave her home country of Moab.  Rahab daringly hides Hebrew spies, paving the way for the capture of Jericho.   Deborah judges, or leads, the Hebrew people for forty years, during the time of the judges   Esther becomes a queen, who at the risk of her life speaks up to save her people.  This book of Esther, one of two in the canon named for a woman, reads like an ancient version of Game of Thrones or House of Cards.  Esther is the only book of the Old or New Testaments where God is never mentioned.

Another important woman is Judith.  The book named after her is found in the apocrypha, which means hidden or secret.  The apocrypha is a collection of books written between the Old and New Testaments.  The Roman Catholic Church recognizes these books as part of the Bible, because they were part of the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, read at the time of Jesus by Jews.  Protestants reject them because they were not written in Hebrew like the rest of the Old Testament.  Episcopalians, not surprisingly, take a middle way, saying that the apocryphal books are edifying but not the basis for doctrinal beliefs.  In the book of Judith, the Persian general Holofernes threatens to conquer the Hebrew town of Bethulia.  Judith saves the town by killing the general, after he gets drunk while trying to seduce her.   Who says the Bible is boring!

Women play an important role in the New Testament, too.  They essentially underwrite the ministry of Jesus and the Twelve (Luke 8:1-3).  Martha first proclaims that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (John 11:27).  Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary, wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdelene stand faithfully at the cross after all of Jesus’ male disciples, except the beloved one, have deserted him (John 19:25).  The risen Christ appears first to Mary Magdelene at the tomb (John 20:1).  Lydia, a successful businesswoman, first converts to Christianity in Philippi, when Paul crosses into Europe, and then supports his ministry (Acts 16:14-15, 40).

Jesus, during his ministry, radically for his time reveals the importance of women to him and to God.  He allows Mary to sit at his feet, in the traditional position of a disciple, while he teaches, at a time when rabbis did not have female disciples (Luke 10:38-39).  Jesus talks to the Samaritan woman at the well, when rabbis refused to talk to women publicly (John 4:27).

Women and Creativity

This Mother’s Day Sunday we have a special adult Sunday School class in honor of women, who are so important for God’s work.  Celia Hartnett, who facilitated our Mother’s Day class last year, returns to lead a discussion about women and creativity.  While women create life when they give birth, they also create quality of life in many other ways, caring for family members, educating, working and leading in health care, business and government.  All women are invited to this discussion about the challenges, rewards, sorrows and joys of their creative lives at 9:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. 

 

Pentecost
Men and Jesus
 

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Saturday, 11 July 2020
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